LIVE OAK, FL, February 28, 2013 – Most river gages on Georgia tributaries to the Suwannee River are cresting after back-to-back storms earlier in February. As the peak flows approach Florida, river forecasts are showing a potential for higher stages on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, middle Suwannee, and Santa Fe rivers than earlier forecasts indicated. The rainfall distribution was similar to storms in March and April of 2009, which caused record floods on the Alapaha and Withlacoochee Rivers. The recent rains were less widespread and intense, resulting in lower expected stages than the historic 2009 flood. However, the forecast crest at the Withlacoochee near Pinetta could be higher than other recent floods, including ones in 2008 and 2003. The crest forecast for Pinetta called for moderate flooding at 3 feet above flood stage by Saturday March 2. The Alapaha River at Statenville is expected to rise another 5 feet by mid-week, to nearly 3 feet above flood stage. Similar stages were seen during a February 2010 flood. Downstream on the Suwannee, the river at Ellaville could crest at least 2 feet above flood stage starting late Monday March 4. As the crest makes its way downstream, people on the lower Santa Fe River could see the river rise above flood stage by Tuesday. River forecasts are issued by the National Weather Service Southeast River Forecast Center near Atlanta as needed during times of flooding. Forecasts and river levels can be found at www.mysuwanneeriver.com and on the District’s automated river level line at 386-362-6626 or 1-800-604-2272 (toll-free in Florida). People with property along the rivers are advised to check the forecasts frequently. Rainfall totals over the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the upper Suwannee River, were much lower than in 2009. Conditions at the Suwannee River around White Springs are average for this time of year and suitable for canoeing and kayaking.